Feebates 1AC (1/_)
Contention I is Inherency – 1. Congress is wed to boosting ineffective CAFÉ
standards – they fail to consider options likefeebatesNorth Star Writers Group 07.
Today’s call for fuel efficiency isn’t a new thing. There has been a 20-year lull between the last time people werehot for fuel-efficient cars, and coincidentally it’s been 20 years since the price of gas was high enough to cause personal discomfort to consumers. That should tell us something as Congress moves to increase
Corporate Average FuelÉconomy
(CAFÉ) standards. The federal government could require Detroit’s automakers to increase their fleetwide fuelefficiency averages, only to watch consumers lose interest if the price of fuel were to again drop. This would leavethe Big Three with an unfunded federal mandate to manufacture something no one wants to buy.
Although this isn’tlikely (the price of gasoline will probably continue to increase a little faster than the rate of inflation),
policy makers should keep it inmind. It’s one thing, in reaction to
our growing awareness of our twin problems of
energy dependency and global warming, todemand action. It’s another thing entirely to demand action that in the long run might not be sustainable in themarketplace. Rather than tinkering, Congress should simply scrap CAFE and address efficiency through somethingthat stimulates demand, not dictates supply. An idea worth considering is
2. Federal CAFÉ explicitly preempts state feebates initiatives, though momentum is buildingEPA 08.
a system of fees and rebates applied to vehicles to induce certain behavior,
have been proposed in various states,
includingCalifornia (Reference available in the California State Action Plan).
Legislation in Maryland that would apply feebates, based onfuel efficiency, to new vehicles to reduce gasoline use is the only proposal to make it through the legislative process,
but thus far has not been implemented due to court challenges
derived from the preeminence of the national
corporate average fuel economy (
The popularity of feebates in recent years is due, at least to some degree, to the potential for revenue neutrality—the system can be structured so that the total rebates paid out equal the total fees paid in. Thus, a feebate may bemore politically viable than a tax.